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2nd OS (XP Pro) on a Windows 7 Alienware desktop

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Hello Everyone,

Okay, I just bought a new Alienware Aurora R3 computer :yes: (old one was soon to be departed ~8~ years old) that came preinstalled with Windows 7. I want to install a second harddrive with Windows XP Pro but I am having problems. I tried to do this the usual way (remove original drive, put in second drive, boot to XP install disk) but I was only able to get to the part where all the drivers, files and such were loaded and then an error came up (Blue Screen) and the installation would not go any further. It is a new harddrive, same kind as original; both Western Digital (one blue/one black)SATA 1T. I tried several times and could not even get it to format. So I then removed the blank drive and put the original one back in. I booted to make sure I did not mess the system up :unsure: but everything loaded fine.

Does anyone know what I need to do in order to format and install the second drive so that I can have a dual boot with the 2 different OS on the computer? (one Windows 7 & one Windows XP Pro). Windows 7 is a completely new animal to me as I just got this system and I have no experience with Windows 7, never even tried Vista. :)

Here are my system specs:

Alienware Aurora-R3

Intel Core i5-2300 2.8GHz (6MB Cache) Overclocked Turbo Boost to 3.3GHz
6GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
21.5" Alienware AW2210 OptX Full HD Gaming Monitor, 21.5" viewable image size
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
Matte Stealth Black Alienware Aurora w/ 525W Multi-GPU Approved PSU

PC-Restore, Dim/Insp
DataSafe Local BackUp
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
Accessory Kit, Aurora 3, Eng
AlienFX Color Astral Aqua

Single Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio
Alienhead 3D
S and P Drop-in-Box Marcom forDHS Desktops
Alienhead Chrome Blue
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling

Thank you in advance for help and/or suggestions :)

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Welcome to Geeks2Go!

First off, if you want your system to set itself up properly for dual-booting, you do not remove the original drive containing Windows 7.
You leave it in place and install the new drive above or below it, otherwise how do you expect your system to know that you want a dual-boot setup?

Secondly, the problem you are having with installing XP on to a SATA drive stems from the fact that XP does not support SATA drives natively.
You have to install the motherboard's SATA driver during Windows XP Setup by pressing F6 when you see the prompt "press F6 to install third-party driver".
The driver must be on a floppy disk you prepared earlier.

Dual Boot Windows 7 & Windows XP: http://apcmag.com/th..._stepbystep.htm
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Thank you for taking time out to respond to my problem :yes: I do realize that in order to dual boot that the original drive has to be in first and then you add the second one. My main problem was getting that stupid XP to install on the 2nd drive. As I said, Windows 7 is a new animal for me and obviously I am not familiar with the OS. Normally you would just put the drive in the comp, put in the OS disk and Puofff.....you wait for the formatting and installation of the OS. However the "old" way was not working in this case. I did not realize that you had to do something different with a SATA drive when installing XP. Never ran across that problem before.

Thank you again for letting me know what was wrong, it was really getting frustrating for me :unsure: .

Ok, so let me see if I am clear on this. I download the 3rd party driver, reboot, remove the original drive, replace that with the new one, put in the XP disk and when the prompt comes up and I hit F6 it will automatically instal the driver from the floppy drive and then I can proceed with the formatting and installation for the new drive. Once that is done, I shut down the comp, remove the 2nd drive and put the original back into bay 1 and the second into bay 2. Then when I reboot I will see 2 options of OS to choose from to boot into, correct? :)

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